Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Editor’s Column: My Unforgettable Basque Experience

How much do you know about the Basque Country? Prior to my recent trip to the region with LALIGA, I wasn’t too familiar with Pais Vasco, as it’s known in Spanish, but this was an experience unlike any other I’ve had.

Having enjoyed some real bucket list moments with LALIGA, who’ve previously hosted me on press trips to Madrid and Barcelona, I was filled with excitement when they contacted me late last year to ask if I was interested in joining other journalists from around the world on a visit to the Basque Country in January. In 2019, I got to watch Atletico Madrid host Real Madrid at the Metropolitano Stadium and, in 2021, I was at the Camp Nou to see Barcelona beat Valencia 3-1.  

This recent trip, though, was my favourite yet. Several times a season, LALIGA invite journos of various ages from different parts of the globe to Spain, and these excursions are generally centred around specific matches and events. This time it was the Basque derby, or the derbi Vasco, a contest between Athletic Club and Real Sociedad that I’ve admittedly only followed sporadically from here in South Africa. That’s going to change, of course.

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